Meghan Markle‘s return to the U.K. has spurred a flurry of new reactions to her and Prince Harry‘s decision to step back from their roles as royals. In an interview at MSNBC’s London bureau, journalist Victoria Mather discussed the couple’s return and why some members of the British public have soured on them, according to Deadline.
“I think what has really, really upset the British public is that Meghan Markle, who many people consider as only, you know, five clicks up from trailer trash, has actually tried to disrespect the queen. And the queen is the most respected person, most respected woman, in the world,” Mather said.
Lindsey Reiser, the MSNBC journalist who was interviewing Mather, seemed perplexed by the latter’s comments and quickly ended the interview.
Mather’s Twitter bio suggests that she is a travel editor at Vanity Fair, but Buzzfeed News has reported that she left the magazine in 2018 and is currently working for Air Mail, a publication founded by former Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter.
Mather’s comments were heavily criticized online after the clip went public, with many users describing them as “racist” or “disgusting.” One user even described the interview as a “complete validation Meghan and Harry made the right choice to leave the royal family.”
Harry and Meghan’s separation announcement came in January, following a lawsuit the couple filed against the British tabloid Mail on Sunday. In the suit, the couple accused the paper of publishing “false” and “derogatory stories” about Meghan. The intense media scrutiny that Meghan in particular was under was widely believed to be one of the reasons that the couple decided to step away from life as members of the royal family.
In an article in Vox, academic Maya Goodfellow detailed the ways in which she argued racism impacted coverage of Meghan as far back as 2016 when it was first announced that she and Harry were dating. In the piece, Goodfellow cited articles that described Markle’s “exotic DNA,” attacked her for things that Kate Middleton had been praised for in the press, and that compared the couple’s son to a chimpanzee.
As early as 2016, Harry had already released a statement condemning the way his future wife had been treated in the press. In his comments, he included references to”the racial undertones of comment pieces” and “the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” Now, it seems some on social media see Mather’s comments as a continuation of that mistreatment from the media.